Top 50 Spirits of 2008

Our spirits tasting director selects the best distillates of the year.


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Photo by Jon Van Gorder

The last decade has been a boom period for spirits consumption in the U.S. In 1998, 140.6 million cases of distilled spirits were sold. In 2007, the total jumped to 181.6 million cases. With thousands of whiskeys, liqueurs, gins, vodkas, brandies, Tequilas and rums to choose from, there's an embarrassment of riches.

Yet like all massive troves of gleaming treasures, some gems shine brighter than others. With a price range from $20 to $700, this roster is a veritable who's who list of classic brands, most notably, Frapin Cognac, The Macallan Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Absolut Vodka, Remy Martin Cognac, Benedictine Liqueur, Drambuie Liqueur, Chivas Regal Blended Scotch Whisky, Bushmills Irish Whiskey and Wild Turkey Bourbon as well as a number of small-production distillers.

This type of all-encompassing mix reflects what's occurring in distilled spirits in 2008. As the drive for product excellence reaches fever pitch, both large and small distillers are supplying the marketplace with the best spirits in history. It is against this background, then, that I present for your pleasure, the Wine Enthusiast Top 50 Spirits for 2008.

To view Wine Enthusiast's top spirits of 2008, click the download button below.


 

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